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Her Knight to Remember

Jill Shalvis

  Reread another fan-favorite royal romance from Jill Shalvis!

  Some people have no gratitude! When Princess Andrea Brunner saves Kyle Moore from a bad guy, she expects a little appreciation. Instead, the arrogant man insists that he saved her! Impossible! Annie has always been the rescuer. Nothing to do except ignore the gorgeous but misguided cop. Too bad he doesn’t see when he’s being given the cold shoulder. In fact, he seems intent on making himself unforgettable….

  Originally published in 2002


  Jill Shalvis



  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen



  “LOOK, I OWE YOU, all right?”

  “Yeah, just don’t forget it.” Kyle Moore stared at his reflection in the mirror. He was wearing a tux, for God’s sake. It wasn’t pretty. Neither was being squeezed into a dressing room the size of a thimble—all six feet three inches of him—with his baby brother peeking over his shoulder.

  Kevin—some baby at just over six feet himself—took a good look. “Tomorrow that will be me,” he said, paling slightly.

  “You can still run like hell. In no time you could be out of New Mexico on your way to anywhere. I’ll even take you,” Kyle offered, in a blatant, desperate, last-ditch effort to get out of being the best man and having to wear the bloody tux.

  Kevin smiled and shook his head. “Nah, I’m sort of fond of Taos. And of my life.” Reaching up, bashing his elbows on the walls in the process, he attempted to adjust his brother’s bow tie. “Besides, I’ll look better in the tux than you do.”

  “No doubt.” Kyle still wasn’t sure how it had happened, but Kevin had gone ahead and done the unthinkable. He’d fallen in love. It made him do stupid things like sighing dreamily for no reason, or staring off into space for long moments at a time. It made him happy to be trying on a tux.


  Kyle shuddered and hoped it wasn’t contagious. Not that he had a problem with commitment. Hell, he’d been committed all his life. First, to helping his mother raise Kev, then to spending the last decade being a cop, taking down every scum he could get his hands on.

  Truth be told, he was tired. Very tired. In fact, he wanted a nice long leave of absence to…do whatever. Bike across Europe. Sail the Greek Islands. Nap in the Bahamas. Anywhere far from here.

  But right now, this tux was starting to itch. “I’ve got to get to work.”

  “You just closed a case,” Kevin said. “You’re entitled to a little personal time after killing yourself for weeks on end for the job.”

  It was months, but who was counting. “I’ve got paperwork.”

  “You work too hard, Kyle.”

  Yes, but in all these years Kevin had never noticed before. Chances were, he hadn’t really noticed until now—he just needed something from Kyle.

  Well, too bad. Today was actually a day off, a rarity, and he didn’t plan to waste another second of it. But before he could get out of the jacket, Kevin stopped him.

  “Don’t go yet.”

  Kyle shrugged him off. “This thing is making me claustrophobic.”

  “Badass cops don’t get claustrophobic.”

  “This one does.” Plus, it was hard to be a tough, badass cop wearing a ridiculously overpriced tux with a pink satin—pink satin!—cummerbund. “Who picked this color anyway?”

  “Lissa,” Kevin admitted. “She has a thing for pink. It’s not that bad, really. Squint your eyes a little and it even looks good.”

  “Yeah, if I squint them closed.”

  Kevin started fussing with Kyle’s bow tie. “A guy only gets married once.”

  “Not if he’s lucky—” Kyle’s eyes nearly bugged out of his head when Kevin cranked the bow tie, cutting off his air circulation. “Hey!” he croaked, waving his hands. “Too tight.”

  “It looks just right to me.”

  Kyle shoved his brother’s hands away and let in some air. Definitely, he was going to take a vacation. As soon as this was over. He’d go count sand granules in Mexico. Or go castle combing in Scotland. Maybe he’d never come back.

  Well, he’d have to, because there was Kevin, who had always needed him.

  And suddenly Kyle had to know his brother would be okay. “Hey, Kev…are you sure?”


  “About this.”

  “Yeah, I think I’ll look good.”

  “Not the style of the tux, Kev. The wedding.”

  “Are you kidding?” His brother set his chin on Kyle’s shoulder and sent him a dopey grin. “Sex every night? Waking up with the woman of my dreams sharing my pillow? Having dinner ready for me when I get home?”

  “I don’t think women do that anymore.”

  “Did I mention the sex every night part?”

  “That’s only if you handle the honey-do list properly. She’s going to tame you, man.” The thought terrified Kyle.

  “Taming wouldn’t be so bad, not if Lissa loves me every day for the rest of my life.”

  Kyle gave up and sighed. “You’ve got it bad.”

  “Yeah.” Kevin’s grin went wicked as he lifted his pager and studied the message. “Oops, gotta go. Lissa’s boss is heading out for a meeting.”


  “So Lissa wants lunch.” He waggled his eyebrows. “And I’m the entrée.”

  “Oh, jeez.” Kyle winced at the image. “Don’t tell me that stuff.”

  “I have to. It’s why you have to go back out there right now and do my fitting for me.”

  “No way am I going back out there, it’s a bridal shop. A three-story bridal shop filled with…bridal crap.”

  “Exactly. You need the little dude with the pins sticking out of his mouth to measure you again. For me this time.”

  “Once was bad enough.”

  “Oh, come on, a guy can never get fondled enough.”

  “No. I still can’t believe I have to wear a tux, too. You’re really going to owe me.”

  “I’m begging you, bro.” Kevin waved the pager. “I have wild animal sex on the line here.”

  “It won’t work. I’m bigger than you are,” Kyle said a bit desperately because damn it, Kevin was giving him the puppy-dog eyes. He’d never, in all his sorry life, been able to resist the puppy eyes.

  Some tough, badass cop he turned out to be.

  “Not so much bigger,” Kevin wheedled. “Come on, please?”

  “There are people out there.”

  “Just a few women from the wedding party coming and going for their fittings, too. Please, Kyle? For me?”

  “You want me to wear this tux for another half hour, just so you can get laid?”

  “Well, yes.” Kevin beamed. “I’d do it for you, in a heartbeat.”

  “You’ll never have to,” Kyle vowed, weakening. Damn.

  “Then I’ll do something else. Anything.”

  “Yeah? Promise me you’ll only get married once.”

  Kevin laughed and slapped him on the back. “Deal. Now get out there and take it like a man. I’m going to sneak out back, and get it like a man.”


  “DRESSES, and anything pink, should be outlawed,” she muttered while pulling on stockings. She hated stockings, but at least she’d purchased the thigh-high kind.
  Her own little defiance.

  Princess Andrea Katrine Fran Brunner of Grunberg specialized in defiance. At twenty-six, Annie considered herself a grown-up now, but she was a tomboy at heart, and always had been.

  Wearing a dress felt like…wearing a straitjacket. She couldn’t run in a dress, couldn’t ride her mountain bike. She couldn’t plop herself down on the beach and watch the waves. She couldn’t climb the highest tower of her castle home and stare off into the neighboring country of Switzerland, contemplating life, wearing a stupid dress.

  She couldn’t do anything worth doing.

  But it wasn’t up for discussion on this particular day. A bridesmaid had to wear a dress, and as improbable as it seemed, she’d landed herself a bridesmaid position.

  She could put it off no longer. With an anticipatory frown, she straightened, took a deep breath, and turned in the tiny dressing room to face the mirror, much in the same way a prisoner would face an executioner.

  “Oh, dear God.”

  She slapped her hands over her eyes.

  She shouldn’t have looked.

  Ignorance had been bliss.

  Oh, man, it was bad. But she was strong, looked life straight in the eye, so she lowered her hands and faced her fate. Pink satin hugged her from breasts to hips, then flared out in ruffle after ruffle, all the way to the floor. Pink, pink and more pink.

  She’d landed in hell, wearing Little Bo Peep’s dress.

  She actually felt weak just looking at herself, and she sank to the floor. Immediately her skirts, aided by no less than three hoops, flew up over her head.

  The words that erupted out of her mouth were not the words of a nice little princess. Blinded by the horrifying fashion nightmare, she tried to shove down the skirts, but it was a feat of fabric magic and couldn’t be done.

  Struggling to her knees took all the considerable strength she had, and by the time she managed to get upright again she was huffing and puffing, her irritation at an all-time high.

  “So much for losing my misery in champagne at the wedding,” she muttered. She’d need all her wits about her to keep from suffocating.

  Breath still heaving, she stared into the mirror. Nothing had changed, except now her skirts were crooked and one breast nearly was exposed. Oops. She righted the bodice and swore the air blue again just because she could, which felt good. But facts were facts.

  She was still wearing the ugliest bridesmaid dress to ever grace the earth.

  At this point, regrets were useless, and a waste of time. She’d come to the United States, to Taos, New Mexico to be exact, to be in Lissa’s—the daughter of her mother’s best friend—wedding, and that’s what she would do.

  Even if she’d rather have her fingernails slowly ripped out one by one.

  But this dress. Granted, any dress might have given her some qualms, but she wasn’t unbendable. She’d made the occasional exception. Hadn’t she worn a kilt to Uncle Seany’s eightieth birthday party just last winter? Uncle Seany had appreciated the gesture, even if the press hadn’t. She’d been highlighted as a big fashion don’t.

  No biggie. She’d spent most of her life being a bit of an enigma to the press, her friends…her family. When all the other good little princesses had been happy wearing dresses and lace and learning their place, Annie had climbed trees and tore her clothing and generally made everyone’s life—but mostly her British nanny, Amelia Grundy—a living hell.

  Now, years and years later, the tomboy image had stuck. So she was stubborn, strong willed and tenacious. So she knew her mind and wasn’t afraid to speak it. So she wasn’t likely to catch a husband that way, so what?

  She didn’t care.

  Okay, she cared. She knew she scared men away with her frankness. With her attitude. Or by just by being a royal. But she was who she was, and no way would she be anyone different.

  But she did have to wear this dress. No way around that. And though they’d just laugh their butts off at the sight of her, she wished her sisters Natalia and Lili were right next to her.

  “Just get it over with,” Annie told her reflection. Knowing Lissa would ask how she liked the dress, Annie attempted a smile. It came out more like a snarl, so she tried again. The glass didn’t crack. Good sign.

  Lifting her skirts in two fistfuls so she could walk, she pivoted, took a step, put her foot down on her own skirt and…fell on her face.

  “Damn it.” Struggling, she managed to get up. She grabbed more fistfuls of pink satin and, muttering ungraciously beneath her breath, exited the fitting room without further mishap.

  The main room of the bridal store was nearly all mirrors, surrounded by white silk-flower arrangements and built-in closets opened to reveal rack after rack of dresses that Annie wouldn’t have been caught dead in.

  When she got married, she—whoa. Stop the presses. She wasn’t getting married. She’d long ago realized there wasn’t a man out there for her.

  But if she ever did get married—say when hell froze over—there would not be a single pink satin dress in sight.

  With all Annie’s considerable theatrical talents—she’d been staging temper tantrums since she was two years old—she’d done her best to get out of coming here in the first place. She had work, didn’t she? Publishing A Child Affair, her monthly magazine on child care and development, took time.

  But Amelia Grundy, former nanny, and current friend and companion, had happily stepped in for her, offering to cover until she returned.

  Annie had then tried to plan events that only she herself could attend. So Amelia, with her strange and inexplicable ability to make things happen, had cleared those off her calendar with a wave of her pencil.

  Damn her efficient, British—and seemingly magical—hide. Amelia always knew best, always.

  How infuriating.

  While Annie had packed for this trip, Amelia had come into her room and hugged her tight. “Try to keep trouble at bay, Annie,” she’d said. “Try real hard.”

  Annie had laughed. Oh, yes, Amelia knew her well. “I’m grown-up now. Trouble doesn’t follow me as it used to.”

  “No, it leads,” had been Amelia’s wry reply.

  Now Annie took her mind off the home she missed with all her heart and looked around the store. The silence startled her. The place was surprisingly empty. Odd. She’d come from the Taos Mountain Inn, which Lissa had rented out for the entire wedding party. She’d come alone, but still, there had been customers in here only a few moments ago.

  And again, Annie wished Natalia was here. Her middle sister wasn’t required to be in the wedding, and therefore didn’t have to show up until Saturday morning. Same for her younger sister, Lili.

  Not fair.

  Then she imagined the look on Nat’s face when she caught sight of Annie dressed up like a fairy-tale victim waiting to happen and decided she was better off by herself.

  “Get out of here.”

  Annie, startled by the rough command, turned around. Well, she turned, but it took the dress a moment longer, and then once it got momentum, it nearly took her in a full circle.

  The voice came from her right, where a man in a black tux stood on a white platform in front of a triad of mirrors.

  Not just a regular man, either. Oh, my, no. Surrounded by mirrors and the specially contrived lighting to make all brides beautiful, this man…well. He was huge, and built like a Greek god. Tall, dark and incredible, was her first thought. Probably the most amazing, sexy-looking guy she’d ever seen—even given the handicap of the tux.

  Not that an amazing, sexy-looking guy turned her head. No sirree, she wasn’t that vain. She required more than a mouthwatering body—which he happened to have in spades—to turn her head.

  He needed a brain. A sense of humor. A tough, I’m-in-charge attitude. Definitely the attitude. She’d never denied being attracted to the bad-boy type.

  Only problem was, the bad-boy type didn’t readily make himself available to princesses. Nor was she available. Sh
e’d had her fair share of trying, and she was done. Amelia had agreed in relief, saying the male population just wasn’t ready for her.

  Oh, well. There always were fantasies. And in her fantasy, her main requirement of a man…it was almost too embarrassing to admit, even to herself.

  He had to dote on her.

  “Get out of here now,” the man in the tux said through his teeth, his eyes dark with fury.

  He couldn’t be talking to her. No man would dare speak to her that way.

  “Lady, move it.”

  Well, how rude. And he was trying to intimidate her. They’d never even met, so his boorish behavior was completely unwarranted. She squinted to read the name on the piece of paper pinned to his jacket and went still.


  As in Kevin Moore. None other than Lissa’s groom. Terrific. It was this big lug’s fault that she was weighed down with tons of pink satin. That fact made it easier to stand up tall and glare at him in return, because she did not take looking like Little Bo Peep lightly.

  “Are you deaf?” he asked.

  Annie had many, many faults, the foremost being a rather formidable temper when stirred. It definitely was stirred now. She stepped forward, fists clenched at her side.

  “I am most certainly not deaf,” she replied with what she thought was remarkable dignity, given what a jerk he was. “I just refuse to listen to rude—”

  “Stop right there.”

  She could hear the danger in his voice, but dangerous, edgy men didn’t scare her. Nothing did.

  So she took another step and heard something that sounded an awful lot like the sound of the bad guy cocking a gun in a movie.

  Slowly, carefully, she craned her neck toward the second man in the room, the man she’d assumed to be the tailor, since he was standing below Mr. Tux. Only, this man looked far more like a thug, with his short, stocky body sporting a badly fitted suit.

  And now that she was staring at him, she realized he had no pins sticking out of his mouth.

  Didn’t all tailors have pins sticking out of their mouths?

  Furthermore, he had short stocky fingers to go with his short, stocky body, and she couldn’t imagine them being agile enough to thread a needle, much less wield it.